2021 São Toméan presidential election
|Turnout||65% (second round)|
|São Tomé and Príncipe portal|
Presidential elections were held in São Tomé and Príncipe on 18 July 2021. As no presidential candidate received a majority of the vote, a second round was originally scheduled to be held on 8 August 2021. However, following an objection to the first-round result, the second round was postponed to 29 August 2021, and later postponed again to 5 September 2021.
The second round was won by Carlos Vila Nova of Independent Democratic Action, who received 58% of the vote, defeating Guilherme Posser da Costa of the MLSTP–PSD. Turnout for the second round was around 65%.
The President of São Tomé and Príncipe is elected using the two-round system for a five-year term. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the first round of voting, a run-off is held with the top two candidates. The role of president is largely ceremonial, with power in the hands of the prime minister.
Incumbent president Evaristo Carvalho did not seek re-election. Former prime minister Patrice Trovoada had been mentioned as a potential candidate, despite corruption allegations; he also did not file as a candidate.
|Jorge Amado||Independent (member of MLSTPPSD)|
|Abel Bom Jesus||Independent||Farmer|
|Miques João Bonfim||Independent (member of MSD–PVSTP)|
|Roberto Garrido||Independent||Civil servant|
|Aurélio Martins||Independent (member of MLSTP–PSD)|
|Victor Monteiro||Independent (member of MLSTP–PSD)|
|Carlos Neves||MDFM – UDD Union|
|Delfim Neves||Democratic Convergence Party|
|Maria das Neves||Independent (member of MLSTP–PSD)|
|Olinto das Neves||Independent||Former Director of Land Transportation|
|Elsa Teixeira Pinto||Independent (member of MLSTP–PSD)|
|Guilherme Posser da Costa||MLSTP–PSD|
|Manuel do Rosário||Independent||Teacher, farmer and ecologist|
|Júlio Silva||Movement of Independent Citizens of São Tomé and Príncipe|
|Moisés Viegas||Independent||International consultant, entrepreneur and speaker, co-founder of the NGO Núcleo Solidário de São Tomé e Príncipe.|
|Carlos Vila Nova||Independent Democratic Action|
For the first round, the campaign took place in the two weeks prior to election day. Most of the candidates denounced corruption in the country. In his 12 July national holiday speech, outgoing president Evaristo Carvalho denounced the practice of "bathing" ("banho"), or buying votes, as "exploitation of the poverty of citizens. The Union for Progress and Change in Principe, the majority party in the Príncipe island assembly since its founding in 2006, did not support a candidate.
The campaign for the second round began on 26 August and lasted ten days plus. On the first day of the campaign, Minister of Health Edgar Neves warned of the exponential increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 and that a third wave of the pandemic was beginning in the country.
According to the president of the National Electoral Commission, Fernando Maquengo, the campaign took place in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. The election was marked by protective measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Gatherings were forbidden and social distancing was mandatory, instructions that were not always respected by the candidates.
Four election observation missions were sent, from the African Union, the Economic Community of Central African States (including representatives from Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and Cameroon) the United States, and Japan. In a preliminary report, African Union observers praised the "peaceful and calm environment" in which the second round took place.
The second round was won by Carlos Vila Nova of the country's largest opposition party, Independent Democratic Action, who received 58% of the vote, defeating Guilherme Posser da Costa of the ruling MLSTP–PSD. Turnout for the second round was around 65%. The runoff was required after neither candidate reached 50% of the vote in the first round on 18 July, with Vila Nova receiving 39.5% and Posser da Costa 20.7%.
|Candidate||Party||First round||Second round|
|Carlos Vila Nova||Independent Democratic Action||32,022||39.47||45,481||57.54|
|Guilherme Posser da Costa||MLSTP–PSD||16,829||20.75||33,557||42.46|
|Delfim Neves||Democratic Convergence Party||13,691||16.88|
|Abel Bom Jesus||Independent||2,907||3.58|
|Maria das Neves||Independent||2,696||3.32|
|Júlio Silva||Movement of Independent Citizens||1.99|
|Elsa Teixeira Pinto||Independent|
|Manuel do Rosário||Independent|
|Olinto das Neves||Independent|
|Source: STP-Press, STP-Press|
Vila Nova said, "With the announcement of the preliminary results, I won those elections in a clear way and this result allows me to be considered as the elected President."
The prime minister of Sao Tome and Principe, Jorge Bom Jesus, congratulated the President-elect, Carlos Vila Nova, on his victory in the second round of the presidential election last Sunday and said he was available for “all collaboration and loyalty”.
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